SpaceX successfully launches Superheavy and Starship – Behind The Black – Robert Zimmerman

SpaceX this morning successfully launched its Superheavy/Starship heavy lift rocket into its test orbit.

The test flight achieved far more than the first test in April. First, during the entire flight of Superheavy all 33 Raptor-2 engines fired normally. None cut out prematurely. Then at very risky hot fire stage separation — where the second stage (Starship) ignited prior to separation from Superheavy — the correct number of engines shut down, Starship’s engines fired, and Superheavy successfully separated and began its maneuvers for a soft splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico.

At that point mission controllers issued the self-destruct command to destroy Superheavy. Though it appeared that the stage was struggling to flip for its controlled return to Earth, it is also very likely that mission controllers wanted to test that flight termination system after its not perfect performance on the first test flight. Then, the self-destruct command did not activate the instant the command was given, being delayed by about 40 seconds. This time it appeared it worked as planned…..

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